April 1 marks the start of “Asbestos Awareness Week,” by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, a nonprofit that works to prevent asbestos exposure, eliminate asbestos-related diseases and protect victims through advocacy and education.
To honor this important issue, I’ve dedicated this space for some straight talk about asbestos, it’s danger and how it is still used across the United States.
Asbestos kills nearly 3,000 Americans every year, yet our government refuses to properly regulate this dangerous substance.
You may be surprised to hear that Asbestos is still used by the U.S. industry. It’s found in 30 million homes, and is a contaminant in consumer products, including children’s toys and makeup.
The United States has imported more than 6,000 tons of asbestos since 2011, almost all of it used by the chlor-alkali industry to make chlorine. It mostly comes from Brazil, but, in 2017, that country banned the mineral, as have more than 60 other nations.
Asbestos imports will increasingly come from Russia, where some shipments are stamped with a seal of the president’s face, along with the words “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States.”
In 1989, the EPA issued a ban on the manufacturing, importation, processing and sale of products containing asbestos. The ban was overturned in 1991 following a successful lawsuit by the chemical lobby.
In 2016, Congress and the Obama administration gave the EPA more authority to regulate asbestos and other hazardous chemicals.
The current administration has taken a less aggressive position, which is concerning to many in the industry.
CHC Training is proud to be a national leader in the asbestos education and training industry.